Recycled Water

The Recycled Water Program regulates the use of recycled water.

Recycled Water is a processed water that originates as a waste or discarded water, including reclaimed water and gray water, which can be used for beneficial purposes upon meeting designated water quality standards.

Gray Water

Gray water is wastewater that has been collected separately from a sewage flow and that originates from a clothes washer or a bathroom tub, shower or sink, but gray water does not include wastewater from a kitchen sink, dishwasher or toilet. Gray water uses, such as landscape irrigation, augment Arizona’s water supply.

Under appropriate circumstances, gray water may be collected separately from sewage flow and used for household gardening, composting, or landscape watering or irrigation, as long as the flow is less than 400 gallons per day. Do you use gray water at home? | Learn More >

If a gray water flow is commercial, and less than 3,000 gallons per day, or residential but over 400 and less than 3,000 gallons per day, ADEQ may issue a Type 3 Recycled Water General Permit authorization to use gray water.

Type 3 Recycled Water General Permit for Gray Water | Learn More >

Questions about commercial or high flow gray water use? Contact 602-771-4999 or email the water reuse team | Email >

Reclaimed Water and Direct Reuse

Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater from a wastewater treatment plant. Reclaimed water has uses, such as irrigation, that augment Arizona’s water supply by offsetting and conserving potable water for consumption and domestic purposes.

Reclaimed water is treated to different water quality levels or “classes” pursuant to ADEQ’s reclaimed water quality standards.1 ADEQ has several permits for the use of various “classes” of reclaimed water. Treatment processes for the production of the different classes of reclaimed water are regulated under the Aquifer Protection Permit program as best available control technology (e.g., wastewater treatment plant producing reclaimed water).

The actual use of reclaimed water is regulated under recycled water general permits as follows:

Type 2 general permits for direct reuse of various classes of reclaimed water | Learn More >

Type 3 general permits for reclaimed water blending facilities | Learn More >

Type 3 general permits for responsible reclaimed water agents when there is more than one reclaimed water end user | Learn More >

Individual permits may also be issued for a use of recycled water that does not fall into any generally permitted reuse category, including, for example, industrial reclaimed water reuse | Learn More >

Direct Potable Reuse of Reclaimed Water

In 2017, ADEQ conducted a rulemaking to reorganize the recycled water rules, remove the prohibition on providing treated reclaimed water for potable uses, and provided an interim individual permit rule to allow treatment of reclaimed water for direct potable uses | Learn More >

Currently, a second phase is underway to revise the interim rule and provide more comprehensive regulatory standards and a clearer permitting process, and enable communities to use direct potable use as a water supply option | Learn More >